By Kira Newbert, Features Editor
This past winter, members of the community were informed that after a successful nine-year tenure at Trinity Hall, Dr. Melissa Whelan, current Dean for Student Life, will be departing the school at the end of June to pursue other adventures.
Whelan is a member of the founding faculty of Trinity Hall. Over the course of her career, she has served students in numerous ways, proving to be a truly integral part of Trinity Hall. She has had countless stints such as creating the theology curriculum, serving as both an honors theology and honors world history teacher, coaching Trinity Hall’s inaugural flag football team, serving as the school registrar, assisting with technology support for students, working with the student government, chaperoning school trips, helping to enforce the dress code, assisting in the organization of masses and other events at Trinity Hall, and even driving Trinity Hall school buses. “Dr. Whelan truly does it all,” senior class member Trinity Olander said.
Whelan has served as the Dean for Student Life for the past three years. On top of fulfilling her many duties within Trinity Hall, Whelan was able to earn her doctorate degree in education from Seton Hall University in 2019.
Whelan attended both an all-girls high school and all-women college for her bachelor’s degree. Both experiences inspired her passion for and love of an all-girls education. Prior to Trinity Hall, Whelan served as a principal at Mother Teresa Regional School in Atlantic Highlands, NJ for seven years, and at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Highlands, NJ three years before that.
At Trinity Hall, students can count on Whelan to step up and fulfill roles needed in the community, such as being one of the coaches of the school’s inaugural flag football team.
“Having Dr. Whelan as flag football coach is honestly super fun,” player Katie Ostrom said. “She has taught us what she knows about football and also what it means to be a team and work together. She has shown her dedication and spirit for the team and it does not go unnoticed. Dr. Whelan along with Mr. Polivka and Ms. Jadelis never fail to boost our spirits coming into a game when we are unsure of the outcome. Next year’s season without Dr. Whelan will not be the same!”
Whelan also helped to maintain the sense of community and sisterhood at Trinity Hall. “While Trinity’s tight-knit community is cultivated by the work of the students, it cannot be achieved without the vision and help of the teachers, most notably Dr. Whelan. Not only does she honor the traditions of past years, Dr. Whelan helped the student council and entire school to remain closely knit through unprecedented challenges. When one thinks of things that make up Trinity Hall, it is impossible not to mention her,” said student body president, Dayra Mejia-Reyes.
During her time at Trinity Hall, Whelan undoubtedly touched the lives of many, and her commitment and dedication will leave a lasting mark on the school for years to come.